Brain damage after meningitis
- Severe brain damage following meningitis is not common and is usually obvious within a few days of becoming ill
- Complications can include epilepsy and cerebral palsy
- An acquired brain injury (ABI) can also cause more subtle changes. The brain takes over 20 years to fully develop, so if a child or young adult has meningitis the development of the brain can be affected
- The changes may not be apparent immediately after the illness; it may take months or even years before any changes are noticed
Our research project MOSAIC, published in Lancet Neurology, confirms that meningococcal disease (most common cause of bacterial meningitis) has a lifelong impact, leaving a significant number of survivors with reduced IQ and problems with memory, concentration and planning.
The research has also shown that survivors are significantly more likely to need additional educational support or experience mental health disorders and physical disability.
If you have been affected by an acquired brain injury following meningitis, we can help you. Call our Meningitis Helpline on 0808 80 10 388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
- When less visible difficulties following meningitis are long-term, you may need expert help and support
- Many professionals including GPs, paediatricians, specialist teachers and psychologists can help to reduce problems and make life easier
- Patience and understanding from family, employers, schools and those working with sufferers is vital
- We have a number of resources available to help people in contact, or working with, anyone affected by meningitis, so that they understand what the changes could be after meningitis
Been affected by acquired brain injury?
Don’t face meningitis alone. Call our Meningitis Helpline on 0808 80 10 388 to speak to our experienced staff. You can access our free support or ask us any questions. Whatever your experience, whenever it was, please get in touch. Our support is for life.
After-effects following meningitis can be caused by injury to the brain. Any injury to the brain that happens after birth is known as an acquired brain injury (ABI).
Physical effects of ABI - this fact sheet contains information on the following:
- Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
- Problems with movement and co-ordination
- Fatigue, appetite and weight change, incontinence
Sensory effects of ABI - this fact sheet contains information on the following: